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History (1958-1973)

The Redstone Model Railroad Club was founded in 1958 as the Redstone Model Railroad Association. Located on Redstone Arsenal, the club has been an active center for model railroading activity in the Huntsville, Alabama area for almost forty-four years. The club layout is the Alabama Tennessee and Northern Railroad, an HO scale notional railroad that is set in the southeastern United States.


The club's first building was located in an area called "Splinter Village" in the extreme northeast corner of Redstone Arsenal. The nickname comes from the fact that all buildings in this area were late 1939 and early 1940's construction of all wood. With construction underway, the club hosted the NMRA's Southeastern Region charter convention in 1959. A dinner banquet was held at the Russell Erskin Hotel in Huntsville and attendees toured the club's new layout facility.


Although the first layout construction was initiated and well under way during the 1959 SER convention, the Army was soon to advise us that we would have to move. The entire area was scheduled for demolishing with all structures condemned. Many hours of hard work lay ahead as members dismantled the layout. We were provided another building and started the move in the late 1961, early '62 timeframe. The decision was made to disassemble what layout we had, and move it to our new home, building 3541.


The layout was reassembled but no scenery was applied. Instead, the club decided to design a new layout that would fill the largest room in building 3541. The new layout would cover an 80' X 30' area and feature a number of creative innovations that included staging yards, walk around throttles, two main lines, and one branch line. Future expansion plans included a second deck. Work on the layout continued, going through the various phases of planning, construction, etc., right into "Operations", which is a major milestone of any layout construction.